Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

With the Pinewood Derby Monday night, my family needed an easy meal.

Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Olive oil
Shallot, diced
1 pkg mushrooms
1/2 c broth
1 1/2 c cream
Bow tie pasta
1 bunch parley, minced
Leaves from 2 sprigs rosemary, minced

Cook pasta per package.

Heat oil in skillet; toss in shallot. After about a minute toss in mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for a few minutes; add in broth and cream. Add herbs. Simmer. Toss in pasta and serve.


Mediterranean Flavors

OK, I’ve never been to the Mediterranean. It’s one of those “when the kids are older, maybe we’ll go…” things for BHE and me. But I am loving the flavors right now, as we’re approaching summer and we’re wanting foods that are a bit more light and fresh. I made this recipe for chicken gyros last night. It involves a lot of chopping, but the end result is delicious, refreshing and healthy.

Last Friday I made Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Sauce and served it over fettucine:

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Pasta

I’ve made this before, and don’t remember how I came up with it. I think I cobbled 2 or 3 recipes together… Anyway, the flavors are great and it’s a a great break from your basic tomato sauce. And roasting garlic is never a bad thing, is it? Here’s the recipe:


2 eggplants, cubed
6 garlic cloves
olive oil
salt & pepper
cayenne pepper
small onion, chopped
baby bella mushrooms (about 1/2 package), sliced
1/4 – 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced (pits removed)
red wine vinegar
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes*
crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Place cubed eggplant and whole garlic in baking dish, add some olive oil and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes. If serving over pasta, it’s a good time to set your water to boil.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper, onions and mushrooms and saute until onion is just starting to soften. Add splash of red wine vinegar; add olives and tomatoes. Season with salt & pepper, and throw in oregano, parsley and basil. Simmer.

Once eggplant is roasted, add to the sauce. Crush garlic with fork and add to sauce. Simmer on low until your pasta is ready. Top with shaved parmesan and crumbled feta cheese.

I’ve only served this over pasta (whole wheat fettuccine), but it would probably be great on a bed of polenta or couscous.

*We just planted our garden, and amongst the bell pepper and zucchini are 9 tomato plants. When our tomatoes come in, I’ll likely swap to fresh tomatoes.

**Fresh is best, but if you have to use dry that will work too.

Chicken, Bean and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

Made this up for dinner the other night, and it was pretty delicious. Perfect for spring and summer, when the weather is warming up and you’re wanting to take advantage of some wonderful produce:

The recipe comes courtesy of Cooking Light, and can be found here. I made some small changes – added some bell pepper that I roasted in the oven, increased the chicken to a bit over a pound (mostly because the chicken was packaged this way). We grilled the chicken the night before on a small charcoal grill we have and that chicken was incredible. I had to smack BHE’s hand away to make sure we had enough chicken for the salad.

The green beans in the salad were OK. I prefer my green beans sauteed. Reflecting on the roasted red bell pepper that I added to the recipe, I could not help but think that some roasted asparagus would be wonderful in this. I recently roasted asparagus with red potatoes (half-following this recipe) so I am kinda loving that preparation for asparagus these days.

I am going to admit that I did not make the dressing, and opted for Kraft’s version of sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. I wanted to make the dressing, but could only find oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Next time I might just make a basic vinaigrette – the dressing wasn’t really a “star” in this dish anyway.

The recipe is a good base that I will be revisiting over the warm weather days.

Dinner Last Night – Linguine with Clam Sauce

This recipe is another result of my raid through Mom’s copies of Family Circle:


You can find the recipe online here. It’s a solid recipe, but I wasn’t WOWed by it. I will make it again, but with some changes. First – I needed more kick, and therefore more red pepper flakes are in order. Red pepper flakes always improve things! I also might add some halved grape tomatoes or a can of diced tomatoes next time – I saw another recipe on their site for linguine with red clam sauce, and a meshing of these two recipes might be more to my liking.

Do you have a favorite recipe using clams?

Fresh Maters!

Ya’ll, we interrupt the embroidery blogging to bring you this announcement: the maters are here! We planted three tomato plants this year: cherry tomatoes (aka “baby tomatoes”), beefsteak tomatoes, and Mr. Stripey. And last Saturday we finally dined on BLT’s. I live for tomato sandwiches, so this time of year makes the heat all worthwhile. We dined Saturday on BLT’s – fresh maters & good applewood bacon – and potato salad.

Last night I wanted to use the cherry tomatoes. I had to keep BHE away from them for about a day so I had enough, but made up a nice little recipe. Please share with me if you choose to make it. I don’t have a title for it, so for lack of a better one we’ll call it:

Sausage & Cherry Tomatoes a la Awesome Avenue

1 pkg. sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 banana peppers, sliced
1 medium onion, medium dice
1 pkg. mushrooms, sliced (baby bellas or button)
Optional: red bell pepper, sliced*
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh basil, chopped fine

Cook up your sausage first. Once that’s cooked, then take it out (I finished my sausage in the microwave). Leave your grease (it’s not too much, since it’s turkey sausage anyway) and add the onion and peppers to that. Let it cook for a little bit and then add in the tomatoes and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Add in garlic and basil. Cook down for a while; while it’s cooking down cut up your sausage into slices/chunks. Add the sausage in to heat it back up.

Served over cheesy rice (brown rice, salt, pepper, butter, cheese). Would be good over grits or pasta too. Buen provecho!

*Note: I wanted to include a red bell pepper, but when I cut it open my freshly bought red bell was molded on the inside. Very weird, and very disappointing.

Would you like some pasta with your veggies?

So, I am officially in like with BHE has a liking for fettuccine alfredo, but since it’s fat-laden goodness is not exactly in tune with a healthy lifestyle, I tend not to make it. Enter Smarter Fettuccine Alfredo:

Green is Good.

This is a good base recipe for a light fettuccine alfredo, but I made several adjustments. I used wheat fettuccine – we always use whole wheat pasta; it’s good for you and we actually like the taste. During the last 3 minutes of pasta boiling, I threw in broccoli (a whole bunch). As I was cooking the pasta, I sauteed baby bella mushrooms and a small onion (sliced, of course) – olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder on that. Next time I will add some red pepper flakes because that just makes everything better, doesn’t it? If you don’t like heat, don’t put those babies in. Finally, I put some chicken tenderloins on the Foreman – salt, pepper, garlic powder again – and cut that up once they were cooked (note – I probably could have sauteed the chicken too, but I hate cutting up raw chicken, and the Foreman and I are good friends. We have history.)

I think this initial effort came out a little bland. Part of the guilt here falls on the amount of sauce – I added all these ingredients, but did not make extra sauce. Next time, I will make more sauce, and use those red pepper flakes.